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>>caption: MATT STAFFORD SLINGS THE
PIGSKIN AT BUFFALO<
@ ORCHARD PARK, NY:
The Lions scored just before halftime
and tacked on ten points in the 4th-Qtr to beat the Bills in suburban Buffalo, 17-6
The exhibition finale victory left the Lions 3-1 on the pre-season.
Don't get excited...They went 4-0 last year before an NFL record 0-16 regular season.
Top NFL draft pick Matt Stafford directed the Detroit offense until midway through
the 2nd-Qtr with mixed results. Stafford connected twice with star Lions receiver Calvin
Johnson for 37 and 34-yards on Detroit's first drive. However, that 34-yard hook-up
for what looked to be a Lions touchdown was nullified by offsetting penalties to both
teams. Four plays later Stafford was sacked and lost a fumble. The second Lions
possession ended on the first play of the 2nd-Qtr when Stafford was intercepted by
Buffalo's Reggie Corner. In fairness, the INT happened because Lions WR Keary
Colbert fell down and Stafford did make the tackle on the play. On Detroit's third
possession Stafford scrambled for a 7-yard run on 3rd-&-10 and that ended his
Stafford went 5-for-9 for 81-yards plus his 7-yard rush.
Detroit CB Chris Roberson intercepted Bills QBack Ryan Fitzpatrick and returned
the pick 20-yards just prior to the 2nd-Qtr's 2-min warning. Free agent signee Brooks
Bollinger took over for Stafford and directed the Lions to a 10-play/55-yard touchdown
drive. FBack Jerome Felton ran up-the-middle for a 1-yard TD with 18-sec left in the
opening half and the PAT made it 7-0 Lions at intermission.
A carryover drive from the third into the 4th-Qtr produced a 32-yard Billy Cundiff
field goal for a 10-3 Lions lead. The march was assisted midway by a 20-yard run from
Marquand Manuel on a fake punt play.
Like Stafford, Bollinger was intercepted. Like Stafford, Bollinger was INTed on
a pass intended for Colbert. Bollinger went 11-for-19 for 111-yards.
Waiver claimed QBack Kevin O'Connell replaced Bollinger midway through the
final quarter and he had a hand in Detroit's second touchdown that concluded the
night's scoring. O'Connell handed-off to rookie free agent RBack Tristan Davis, who
faked going over right guard and burst outside left to race 80-yards for a one play drive.
All Buffalo could muster were a pair of Rian Lindell field goals.
LIONS H-COACH JIM SCHWARTZ: "[Stafford] did a good job today. He's a smart kid
and he knows what to do with the ball and knows where to put it. He has a bright future
ahead of him...We've got to do a better job of supporting our quarterback. We had a
touchdown pass turned over with a holding penalty, and we didn't protect him very well
and we fell down on the one interception...He did some good things, but we have to do
a better job of supporting him. The bottom line is that we didn't get the ball in the end
LIONS QB MATT STAFFORD: "I feel extremely confident. We moved the ball really well
...We've got talent. We've just got to make plays."
LIONS WR CALVIN JOHNSON: "There are still a lot of positives. There are things we
have to work on. We're moving the ball, but we have to quit taking points off the board
by getting penalties and things like that.''
BILLS H-COACH DICK JAURON: "We've got to pick it up. We have a long way to go."
BILLS QB RYAN FITZPATRICK: "I don't know how much we showed or how much confidence
we gained, because obviously we didn't produce a lot of points."
Roberson had a fumble recovery to go with his INT.
Lions QBack Daunte Culpepper DNP due to a toe injury.
The Bills sat out starting QBack Trent Edwards and first string WRs Lee Evans & Terrell Owens.
The final NFL pre-season cutdowns are due by 6pm/ET Saturday.
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